Monday, November 28, 2011

Let's Keep Being Thankful

It seems as if my Thanksgiving Eve post last week was ages ago. Maybe because I've been in a tryptophan induced coma since late last Thursday afternoon. Kidding! 

I actually eat a large amount of turkey year round and I'm pretty sure that I've built up an immunity to any soporific qualities that bird may boast. My hope one day is that I'll be in some sort of battle of wits, a la The Princess Bride, but instead of Iocane, I'll have built up an immunity to tryptophan and outwit Vizzini.  Anyway, I digress. . .

This Thanksgiving seemed to blow by, but I'm glad I had opportunity to take pause and remember how blessed I am to have so many amazing people in my life. Not only did I get to spend time with a bunch of family, I got to squeeze in some quality time with two beautiful friends I don't get to see nearly enough. Why does it seem so hard to just stop for a moment and appreciate how blessed I am with all these relationships? I'll never know. 

The holiday weekend this year was capped off by dinner at my sister's house, including 3 dogs, one snooty cat, a joint birthday celebration and decorating her Christmas tree. My family likes to get our Christmas on before the turkey has even settled in our stomaches. What can we say? We're just a bunch of holiday junkies!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all are as well as can be, and finding things to be thankful about on this Thanksgiving Eve. 

I'm thankful to be spending time with my brother and sister tonight as we prepare some dishes for tomorrow and enjoy each others company.

I'm also thankful that we were able to get the wood stove up and running again after we apparently neglected it too long(don't ask. . .clearly none of were girl/boy scouts)

Have a great day tomorrow my friends, and remember that the day should be about so much more than how much turkey you can fit on your plate!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spam, Bam, Thank You Ma'am

"Why do you keep sending me links about Viagra?"

This is the message I received from my sisters several weeks ago out of the blue.

"What?" was my response, "obviously, I haven't been sending you them on purpose!"

Emily went on to explain that she and a random other group of people on the Cc list were getting e-mails from me with a message about checking out what smoking does to your body, but when/if you clicked the link, it led to some sort of Viagra website.

Of course, I knew it was some sort of e-mail virus shenanigans that had gained control of my account but it was a huge pain because I have gmail which basically saves every e-mail address you've ever used. Normally handy. Not so, when you've unwittingly become a Viagra salesperson. And to top it all off, one of the repeat receivers happened to be my grandmother.

Trying to do some damage control, I sent out a witty message to several people to warn them of this new development but couldn't figure out where it was coming from so couldn't seem to stop it.

A few weeks later, though, as I went through and cleaned out my junk account not related to Gmail, I saw several mailer deamon returned emails in my spam box. My sister had failed to mention this was the email address the spam was coming from.

With some quick work, I realized most of the contacts it was e-mailing were defunct addresses of friends and family, although some were still legitimate. I deleted my outdated contact list, and for a few weeks that seemed to be the end of it.

On saturday morning, I signed on to my email and saw that I had an new e-mail from myself. Not unusual because I send myself emails just about every day with links, recipes, or other random info I want to access later.

I opened it to see which one is was and saw a garbled message with a link. Confused, and unable to remember what I'd e-mailed myself I clicked on the link. 

I think you can guess where it led me.

I had just been spammed by my own e-mail. 

The ridiculousness of this happening in the tech savvy world we live in was not lost on me. Not only do we have to look out for other people attacking us electronically, we now have to contend with our own e-mail accounts turning on us!

This moment should be a lesson for all of us, to be remembered when companies start trying to market robots to do everything for us. I can tell you from experience how that's going to end up. . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


If you'll recall, often at work I get bored and write poems. . .I won't say there any good--but they happen, and occasionally, I blog about them. Here's what happened this morning:

I know this guy who has brains for teeth and doesn't like to eat beef. 
every time he opens his mouth statistics march out like who has the most Olympic gold medals and what rain boots are made of
I'm sitting there chomping on a hamburger and wondering how many inches of snow they get in Alberta, Canada in a year, but I don't dare ask because he'll start in on the life cycle of a praying mantis 
so I still won't know the answer, but I might have some ketchup on my lip. I think what he needs is a steak. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Leave a message after the

For a long time now it's been a joke amongst many of my friends that I am completely incapable of leaving a concise voicemail about anything. I don't really know what it is that happens in my brain, but everytime I call someone and the automated woman starts blabbing about the directions for leaving voicemails I get distracted, and then I hear the beep (sometimes; Other times I don't and then awkwardly stay on the line for a minute deciding if it beeped yet) my brain goes totally blank. Nothing. Often so much so that I don't even remember who I'm calling.

I try to collect myself quickly and move on, but that initial few seconds is crucial and throws off my game. Thus, my voicemails are an amalgam of random thoughts, stream of conscious ramblings, and maybe, occasionally, the point of why I'm calling.

The worst though, is the dreaded finale. I absolutely am terrible at ending things. Conversations, emails, and messages. I feel like there should be something profound or definite, perhaps. But whatever it is, I end with various trite statements, sometimes repeated over. "So, umm yea, I umm hope you're doing well (for the 5th time) and I hope you have a great week (again) and uhhh, yea justgivemeacallkthanksbye." 

It never occurred to me when I started working at my job here in Boston, that the days would come when I'd have to be dealing with people on the phone. And, more specifically, leaving them detailed messages. Quelle horreur!

Blessedly, I've suffered through months of awkward messages, returned calls, and the like without out too much drama. Sure, I still began every conversation in a sort of hurried, rushed explosion of what I need that the person usually asks me to repeat a few times but, for sure, I'm improving.

Until today, when I apparently took about 50 steps back. I was calling a woman to give her details of some transportation I'd arranged for her. She usually answers, but didn't this time, so when the message tone beeped, I rambled off all the details. As usual, the end came but I couldn't seem to gracefully extricate myself. So, I chose this classic ending.

"Soo, I hope you're well. . . aaaaand. . .bye." 

word for word. 

First, I'm hoping that "aaand" didn't last long as it seemed in that moment. 'Cuz in the moment it was really long. 

But most ridiculous: "I hope you're well"? Do I really hope that? Because I have never actually met you and the extent of our relationship is me calling you with times a taxi is going to show up at your house. But, you know, call me up sometime. Let's chat. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Officer, I'm Innocent

After returning home feeling rejuvinated from my baking fiasco last night, I decide that I need to put together the turkey chili I plan to throw in the crockpot for dinner tomorrow. As it's already after 10, my goal is to get everything together as quickly as possible so in the morning I can just turn my slow cooker on and not have to worry about anything else.

First things first, I get the turkey browning in a pan and start straining some dark red kidney beans. Around 10:20, just as I'm opening the pepper to sprinkle some on the turkey, I hear an urgent tap at my living room window. 

Now, this may seem odd in general but it's actually not so out of the ordinary. You see, our buzzer in our building doesn't work and since we live in the ground, instead of calling we encourage people to just tap on our window and we'll come let them in. 

Still, given the late hour, I look over at the window in confusion and see a huddled form there and the light of a what appears to be a cell phone shining. Another urgent bang sounds on the window.

Still unsure of who's outside (could it be my roommates brother? Or perhaps a friend who lives nearby?) I open my front door cautiously and walk up the steps to the main doors. With a start, I realize that there is a policewoman standing there looking rather harried.

For a moment, I freeze on the stairs, feeling guilty. Except, it's not like I've done anything wrong. . .that I remember. So, why is a policewoman tapping on my window at 10:30 at night? Regaining my composure, I leap up the stairs and swing open the door. She enters with a woosh of cold air, her gold badge gleaming in the hall light.

"Thank you!" she exclaims, gratefully and holds up her cell phone.

"Umm, you're welcome. Do you--" I start not sure what to say to an officer of the law. . .
"I don't know wants wrong with my roommate, she doesn't answer her phone!" she starts apologetically.

For a moment, I don't realize what's going on, and then it slaps me in the face. 
It's Halloween

This woman lives here and is dressed up like a policewoman, and locked herself out of the building. And I am a complete idiot.

"Ooooh, no problem!" I say a little to loudly, my laughter a little too bright, "have a nice night!"

I whirl and head downstairs and she runs up thanking me again. Reaching my door, I close it and give a small hiccup of laughter, and head back to the sizzling turkey on the stove.

I can't even believe this day just happened.